Local News

Wilson Attracts Major Pharmaceutical Companies

Posted December 8, 1998

— The Research Triangle area is known across the world for technology. But one of the state's hot spots for medicine production might surprise you.

Hundreds of new jobs that pay well are on their way to Wilson.

If you have not checked your medicine cabinet lately, you might be surprised to find that some of the world's most popular drugs come from Wilson.

Maybe you have heard of the new asthma treatment Singulair that's only months old, or Propecia, the new drug to treat male baldness.

Both are selling so well, that Merck Manufacturing is expanding its Wilson plant and hiring 100 new workers.

"We're going to double the size of our packing facility, so it's very exciting for our employees to know that we're going to have more people in the future," said Jodi Nicholson, Merck Packaging Coach.

The City of Wilson may be even more excited, because it's quickly becoming a hub of activity in the world of drug manufacturing.

Purdue Pharmaceuticals is breaking ground Thursday on a new plant that will eventually hire 200 workers. The average salary will be more than $30,000.

"We want to create an environment in which our children can grow up and learn technical skills and go to college and come back and have a place to work here," said Jennifer Lantz of the Wilson Economic Development Council.

Companies considering Wilson say the fact that it is close to the I-95 transportation corridor is attractive, as is its proximity to the Triangle.

The cost of living in Wilson is also about 20 percent less than in Raleigh. As word gets out, supporters hope the success continues.

"Having pharmaceutical companies locate here or expand here tells other companies that Wilson is a good place to operate a business, and that you can make money here," said Lantz.

In the end, Wilson will have about one million square feet of pharmaceutical space.

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